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Exotic mango coconut jelly cubes

I love agar-agar-based desserts – they tick all my boxes: fast, simple, healthy … and delicious!

My vegan cardamom panna cotta is always a success served with a little red fruit coulis or just a little passion fruit pulp.  These mango coconut jelly cubes take it to the next level and they make such a pretty dessert!

They’re easy to do.  With agar-agar a seaweed-based ingredient, the liquid turns into jelly as it becomes cold. The trick here is to give the first layer – the mango one – about one hour to gently set at room temperature before making the coconut layer.  Then when the coconut layer is ready (in minutes), you can pour it gently over the mango mixture (over the back of a wooden spoon makes it nice and gentle so as not to break the surface of the mango mix).

I first let it cool at room temperature then finish the process in the fridge.

To sweeten I use a little xylitol, a birch-based sweetener which will not spike insulin and not change the taste like yacon syrup might.  You may want to use half xylitol and half stevia (I use this Sweetleaf one with natural vanilla called Vanilla Crème from Amazon)

MANGO LAYER

  • For the puree, 250g mango flesh (about 2 mangos) roughly chopped
  • Extra mango (1) in 1cm cubes
  • ½ mug orange juice
  • 2 tsp agar-agar
  • 1/3 mug xylitol
  • Juice of a lime – to taste
  • Optional: 15 small mint leaves

COCONUT LAYER

  • 2/3 mug of water
  • 1 tsp agar agar powder
  • 4 tbsp xylitol
  • 2/3 mug of coconut milk
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Mould: square dish (I use either a glass rectangular or silicone square one)

PREPARATION

For the mango layer:

  • In a blender, blend the mango cubes (for purée) and the orange juice until smooth.
  • In a medium pan, whisk in the agar-agar powder into the water.
  • Bring the water mixture to a full boil, stirring frequently, making sure that all the agar-agar powder has dissolved.
  • Add the xylitol and mango purée and whisk until smooth.
  • Remove from heat and taste, adding more sugar and/or lime juice as needed.
  • Pour the mango mixture into your mould.
  • Add the 1-cm mango cubes into the mango base, distributing them evenly throughout, and pushing them down to make sure they are submerged.
  • If desired, you can add mint leaves all throughout, pushing them into the mango base.
  • Note: Agar-agar jelly sets at room temperature, so it’s best to work quickly J
  • Let the jelly set until the surface is firm enough to pour on the next layer (if you touch it gently and your fingers are not poking through, it’s ready). You CAN put it in the fridge to make it go faster, but do not let this set completely cold! (see notes above)

For the coconut layer:

  • In a small pan, whisk in the agar-agar powder into the water.
  • Bring to a full boil, stirring frequently, making sure that all the agar-agar powder has dissolved. Add xylitol, salt, and stir until dissolved.
  • Add coconut milk, stir to mix and remove from heat.
  • You can use this immediately if the mango layer has set. `
  • If the mango layer has not set yet, keep this mixture hot, covered, over the lowest heat setting on the stove to prevent it from setting and becoming clumpy.
  • Once the surface of the mango layer has set, gently pour the coconut layerover the back of a spoon on to the mango base (if you pour too hard it might break or cause dents in the mango layer). Refrigerate for a few hours until cold.
  • When cold, cut into cubes with a sharp knife and enjoy!
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